Hearing set for couple accused of animal, child cruelty

Brian Tenney

FRONT ROYAL – A husband and wife facing animal and child cruelty charges will appear at 2 p.m. Dec. 12 in Warren County General District Court for a preliminary hearing.

Brian Tenney, 55, and Wendy Tenney, 43, were each charged in September on six felony counts of cruelty and injuries to children, 16 felony counts of animal cruelty and three counts of inadequate care to animals. He was also charged on one count of livestock running at large.

According to law enforcement reports, Animal Control Officer Laura Gomez noticed goats running loose in the area of the Tenneys’ 63 Limeton Church Road home and soon identified the couple as the owners. Gomez then heard dogs barking from their garage and asked to search it due to prior animal welfare incidents at the house, which include a March 2017 kennel fire that resulted in the deaths of Australian shepherds.

A search warrant was then obtained for the home. A criminal complaint by Warren County Sheriff’s Office Investigator B.W. Pugh states that the inside was riddled with bugs and had the strong stench of garbage, feces and ammonia.

According to previous reports, the house search resulted in the seizure of 30 animals – 14 dogs and 16 cats. They were transported to the Humane Society of Warren County. The couple was released in September on $5,000 secured bonds.

Wendy Tenney

Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Michael Sharp ruled Thursday that the child endangerment charges be heard alongside the other charges in General District Court.

Anna Hammond, assistant commonwealth attorney, explained that judges are sworn to hear cases in each court. She explained that the matter was not transferred to the General District Court, but “cross-designated.”